Conference

[Conference] SENIA Singapore holds Spring Conference 2017

On April 22nd 2017, SENIA Singapore held its second successful full day conference at the Stamford American International School.

The theme of the day was ‘Cultivating Collective Responsibility’. Over one hundred attendees were present from a variety of local and international institutions. The day started with a keynote address from Dr Eric Sands about creating inclusive cultures. Following this was two rounds of workshops, followed by panel discussions in the afternoon. The sessions were presented from a wide variety of people representing various centres and schools in Singapore and covered a range of relevant, pertinent topics. At the completion of the day, SENIA Singapore presented its inaugural Advocacy Award to Dr Roby Marcou. Dr Marcou has been actively involved in supporting students with special educational needs in Asia for many years. Stamford American International School hosted the event and the facilities and staff there enabled the attendees to have an enjoyable, smoothly run day. We would like to thank everyone for making the day a success and we look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Story and Photos by Contributor: Karli Koning

[Conference] SENIA 2017 Japan Post Conference Page Now Available!

Thank you for attending the #YISSENIA2017 #SENIAINJAPAN Conference at the Yokohama International School Japan. It was a fruitful time of learning, sharing and networking.

We invite our delegates to visit the SENIA 2017 Post Conference webpage for certificates, photos and feedback form. The password was provided during the conference closing ceremonies.

Again, thank you for joining us in Japan and see you next year.

[News] Meet the SENIA Honorary Student Awardees 2017

The SENIA Student Award is search for exceptional students who advocate for special needs in Asia. The winner of the SENIA Student Award for 2017 is Casey Stevenson.

There are many excellent nominees who also received the SENIA Student Honorary Award citation. It is our privilege to present to you the other SENIA Student Award nominees who also inspire many with their lives and advocacy. Meet the SENIA Student Honorary Award 2017 recipients.


johnnepJohn V. Nepomuceno
is a college student from the University of Santo Tomas Philippines. Before his formal ADHD diagnosis, John experienced challenges including hyperactivity, lack of focus and poor executive functioning. He faced academic failures and challenges in learning. After undergoing his therapies, John has overcome his challenges and has learned strategies that address his needs. As an advocate for ADHD, John has spoken in high profile events including those sponsored by the Occupational Therapy Association of the Philippines and the ADHD Society of the Philippines. John’s heart to help other learners with special needs drove him to enroll in the William Glasser Institute where he garnered a certification of Basic Intensive Training in Choice Therapy, Reality Therapy and Lead Management. His leadership abilities shone through during his campaign to be the Auditor for the Student Council. John’s positive influence in his college is commendable.

kanKan Jiraphongtrakul is a student-athlete from Concordian International School Thailand. Diagnosed with dyslexia, Kan experienced difficulties in reading, writing, spelling, short-term memory, time management, organization and mathematics. Still, with hardwork and perseverance, Kan is enrolled in the full IB diploma program. Kan is also an exceptional athlete and has won the coveted Most Valuable Player accolade in the areas of volleyball and basketball. Kan advocated for dyslexia through a community program he initiated called “Can You Read Me?”, a treasure hunt for primary students and their parents allowing them to empathize with people with dyslexia. 

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Nathan Marcus V. Canon is a student diagnosed with bilateral, profound, sensorineural hearing loss. Due to his condition, his speech developed late and was imperfect. Nathan advocates for learners with similar condition as his. He speaks to students, parents and educators about his experiences. He visited Singapore to speak on his experiences with hearing implants for an audience of parents and children at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Nathan is also a creative student. His artwork was selected to be part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Artlink 2008-2009 exhibition entitled “Windows: Looking in, Looking out”. Nathan’s leadership is exhibited by his election as class representative during his grade school years and now as Treasurer of the Student Council. Nathan also volunteers as an artist for Teach Peace Build Peace Foundation’s storybook project. If these accomplishments are not inspiring enough, Nathan also learned to play musical instruments such as guitar and the keyboard in spite of his hearing loss.   (more…)

[News] Meet the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Winners 2017

The SENIA Advocacy Award is a search for exceptional persons or institutions who advocate for people with special needs in the Asia. The winner of the SENIA Advocacy Award for 2017 is Rhodora Palomar Fresnedi of the Philippines.

There are many excellent nominees who also received the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Award citation. It is our privilege to present to you the other SENIA Advocacy Award nominees who inspire many with their lives and their advocacy. Meet the SENIA Advocacy Honorary Award 2017 recipients.

aventajadoMichelle Ressa Aventajado is a mom blogger, special needs advocate and Country Director of Best Buddies PhilippinesBest Buddies is an international movement that aims to develop one to one friendships between persons with disabilities and persons without disabilities. The program allows all people to feel included and valued as a member of society. As Country Director of Best Buddies Philippines, Michelle has worked tirelessly with numerous institutions to promote inclusion. During the last Best Buddies Leadership Conference in the United States, the Philippines was the largest international group represented. Michelle’s advocacy reaches farther than her work in Best Buddies, though. Considered a gamechanger in the area of education, Michelle is an inspiration to many. Her successful blog, MommaNManila, covers topics such as parenting and special needs. Michelle’s inspiration is close to her heart as she hopes to build an inclusive world for her lovely daughter, Gelli, who was born with Down Syndrome. Be inspired by the work that she does by watching this video, “End the R Word“.

maurerUwe Maurer is the Director and Co-Founder of Taiwan Sunshine, a non-profit organization that aims to bring hope and support to families with special needs children in Taiwan. The main program of Taiwan Sunshine is the Hero Games, a sports program that connects national public schools with special needs students to create an inclusive environment that fosters friendships, team spirit and acceptance. Through a volunteer and school partnership system, the Hero Games provide opportunities for everyone including school administrators, students, teachers, parents and support staff to contribute to the event. It is incredible to witness the Hero Games where participants may be in wheelchairs, have leg braces, or other types of assistive supports and are able to join the sports events. Indeed, Taiwan Sunshine advocates for those who are excluded.  To learn more about Taiwan Sunshine and assist in their work, visit their official website and view this video (more…)

[News] SENIM holds 3rd Annual Conference

On November 12, 2016 SENIM (Special Education Network in Malaysia) held its 3rd annual conference at IGB International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme was “Unlocking the Keys to Learning” and the conference included three strands –  Technology, Looking at Learning, and Social Emotional.

The conference was attended by 103 delegates, which included professionals and parents from in and around Kuala Lumpur. As participants arrived at the venue they were treated to a musical performance by Abigail Ang. Abigail is a 14 year old young lady with autism who has an amazing talent playing the piano. Following this performance were three short motivational sessions designed to inspire the conference participants. These included a young man with dyslexia sharing his educational journey, a classroom teacher sharing her perspective on the gift of inclusion, and a school counselor reminding us to be mindful throughout the conference. (more…)

[News] Rhodora Palomar Fresnedi wins SENIA Advocacy Award 2017

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Ms. Rhodora Palomar Fresnedi of the Philippines is the SENIA Advocacy Award winner for 2017.

The SENIA Advocacy Award celebrates the achievements of a student, adult or group who encourages awareness and advocates for the aspirations of people with disabilities. The award honors those who exemplify the vision mission of SENIA, which is to advocate in behalf of exceptional people in Asia.

Ms. Rhodora Palomar Fresnedi is the Executive Director of Unilab Foundation and is the prime mover of Project Inclusion. Unilab Foundation believes that a healthier Philippines is an inclusive Philippines and through “Project Inclusion”, the foundation enables wider employment of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) with special emphasis on Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PWIDs).  (more…)

[News] Casey Stevenson wins SENIA Student Award 2017

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Casey Elaine Stevenson, a student of Brent International School, is the winner of the SENIA Student Award 2017. The SENIA Student Award honors a student with a disability who excels and advocates for the aspirations of children and youth with disabilities in Asia.

Casey is a strong advocate for special needs inspired by her own personal experiences with disability. Casey started struggling with depression and anxiety when she entered her teenage years. After seeing a psychologist, it became clear that she also has characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder that was previously unidentified. Aside from her personal challenges, Casey also witnessed the challenges of her older sister who has a neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome. Casey’s love for her sister, who she considers her best friend, inspires her advocacy. In her personal statement, Casey said that “She is the main reason I advocate, to help others like her.” (more…)

[Conference] Registration for SENIA 2017 Japan is closed.

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[Conference] Dr. Stephen Shore to speak at SENITA Annual Conference 2017

SENIA Taiwanshore (SENITA) will host their second annual workshop in Taichung, Taiwan on Friday, January 20, 2017.  Dr. Stephen Shore, the author of Beyond the Wall, will be the keynote speaker of the event, entitled:  Turning Obstacles into Opportunities. For more information about this great opportunity, download the event flyer.

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[News] SENITA holds first SENIA local conference in Taiwan

13055870_460707370720736_3671915557110916731_o 13086866_460707367387403_7002062514619653411_oIn April of 2016, SENITA hosted their first annual conference in Taichung, Taiwan.  They were hosted by Morrison Academy.  The theme for the event was, “Where Do I Begin” with three tracks.

Uwe Maurer the president of the Taiwan Sunshine Foundation led a workshop on learning support within the framework of the Taiwan Education System.  Natasha Kanapathy, a Speech and Language Pathologist, led a session on the understanding the role of an SLP as well as “red flags” for children who might need help.  Freddie Wagner, the learning specialist, at Morrison Academy, led a workshop on Brain Architecture and Understanding the impact of A.D.H.D and Learning.

Those in attendance came from all over the island, but the highest percentage of attendees came from Taipei in the capital, traveling to attend the conference.  Because of the interest, the workshops were repeated for a second conference in Taipei in early May.  The event highlighted a need for a connecting organization and networking opportunities for educators, parents and specialist.

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Thank you Freddie Wagner for sharing this story!